Great Jones Street

ISBN: 0140179178
ISBN 13: 9780140179170
By: Don DeLillo

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Reader's Thoughts

Steve

A quick review of Great Jones Street - simply didn't like this. I picked it up at Book Off with the rest of my "to Steve from Steve" Christmas presents. My initial view was a Penguin label (generally a positive), a book about musicians and a book about NY. None of this sounds bad to me. I just didn't get it. I suppose I'm not Rock and Roll enough, because the whole sitting around doing nothing did nothing for me. On the cover this mentions nihilism. I'm thinking maybe I don't enjoy nihilistic endeavors…but yet some of my favorites are nihilistic in nature. Maybe its just that I read those ten years ago and I'm too old for it now. I don't know. I just didn't get it. The plot of moving the drug package was eh and the peripheral characters were just unappealing. Its tough for me to offer up a 1 rating…but this was damn close (editor's note: changed this to a 1 rating. In retrospect, it sucked). I'm just not seeing where things were enjoyable here. I'm not seeing how rock and roll this was. Guy decides his music isn't appreciated the way it should be (don't get me started on rock musicians and artistry) and he'll hole himself up and pretend he's dead for a while. Just in general, unappealing. Do I sound bitter? Good…wasted a week and a whole dollar on this.

Parrish Lantern

“Fame requires every kind of excess” “I mean true fame, not the sombre renown of weary statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the very edge of the void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic…………. ( is it clear I was a hero of Rock ‘n’ Roll)So starts Don Delillo’s 3rd novel, Great Jones Street. The hero, Bucky Wunderlick, has left the group high & dry, by dropping out of a national tour at the height of their fame & success. His reasoning is to seek out an alternate existence, outside of his public persona, by seeking refuge in some crummy bedsit on Great Jones Street. The problem with this is everyone knows he’s there, his manager (the building is owned by his management company), members of a cult, fellow band members etc & they all want to or already do own a piece of him. Some are after some experimental super drug & some for some tapes of music he has made.In trying to write this piece, I’ve checked out various resources & they make comparisons between the hero & Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison & even Kurt Cobain (amazing as the book was out in the early 70’s), discussing the relationship between self & public persona. In the book there is no division, the public perception has as much credibility as the individual, Bucky & us, as readers, constantly learn of his exploits all whilst constantly aware he hasn’t left Great Jones Street, making rumour & publicity at least as real as his private self.Also mentioned a lot is the connection between the underground movement & rock. There's a cult called the Happy valley farm commune, who have set up home in a lower eastside tenement & seem to connect themselves with Bucky's withdrawal from society (or his perception of it). Personally I think Delillo points us elsewhere to what he perceives as the real underground, through the character of Watney(named after the English beer comp?) an old retired English rocker who says on page 232 “The presidents & prime ministers are the ones who make the underground deals & speak the true underground idiom. The corporations. The military. The banks.This is the underground network. This is where it happens. Power flows under the surface, far beneath the level you & I live on. This is where the laws are broken, way down under, far beneath the speed freaks & cutters of smack. Your not insulated or unaccountable the way a corporate force is.Your audience is not the relevant audience.It doesn’t make anything. It doesn’t sell to others.Your life consumes itself”If this book has a message, its something like, rock & its rebel underground image has no real status, no power, it is merely a way of selling a particular commodity. That the real status,those that really stick their fingers up to the man, are the man. This was probably true then & it definitely resonates with what makes the news today.This book also left me with a dilemma, a question. Can you still like a book that has no redeeming characters, that has no likable quality in its ideals, individuals or even the images it portrays…..In the end it’s saved by the sheer power & beauty of the writing, it is strong, erotic & has a insular nature suited to its main character, in fact it reminded me of a book I read years ago, that was also in a confined setting & had a poetic nature & that was Lawrence Durrell's The black book

Óscar Brox

Los primeros años de la década de los 70 empezaron con las muertes de Morrison o Hendrix, que hicieron más palmaria aquella visión del rock que cantara Eric Burdon como un lugar “to wear that ball and chain”. Las revoluciones juveniles se refugiaron entre las sábanas de pequeños dormitorios y el éxtasis de aquellas generaciones previas comenzó a disiparse junto al sueño de un nuevo orden para la sociedad. Mientras el rock psicodélico apuraba sus últimos coletazos, a la espera de que su sonido evolucionase hacia lo progresivo, Don DeLillo escribía su tercera novela, La calle Great Jones, con la mirada puesta en el ocaso de ese fenómeno cultural. Un apogeo que dejaría al descubierto las miserias de la emergente sociedad del capitalismo avanzado. Tres décadas después, Seix Barral continúa su encomiable labor editorial con la publicación al castellano de esta estimable, por ingeniosa y feroz, novela de sus inicios.Bucky Wunderlick es una estrella del rock cuya carrera parece atrapada en un ángulo muerto, entre los balbuceos y el caos musical que han coronado sus últimos discos, reducidos a una definición casi infantil que lleva por nombre Pipimomo. Hastiado de esa realidad en la que cada vez resulta más difícil permanecer agarrado a algo verdadero, Bucky se esconde en un apartamento de la zona de Manhattan. Parapetado tras la cama en la que su protagonista deja pasar el tiempo, DeLillo compone una sátira sobre una época donde los afectos, incluso la realidad, pierden su valor a medida que olvidan cuál es su sentido. Ahora que la euforia ante la posibilidad de imprimir un cambio en nuestra manera de ver las cosas se diluye con el final de las utopías, resulta indispensable encontrar los medios que nos permitan seguir creyendo en la ilusión. Así, ese pequeño piso de la calle Great Jones se convierte en el centro neurálgico de la operación, en el que las visitas constantes de periodistas, representantes o miembros de una extraña cooperativa agraria que trata de distribuir una nueva droga en el mercado dibujan el esfuerzo por mantener con vida un espíritu que ha perdido su lugar; por construir una marca, un estado emocional, que se consuma en una cinta o en una dosis, en un paraíso artificial.A través de su escritura precisa, DeLillo anota cada detalle como un movimiento mediante el cual la realidad se convierte en algo inestable que desdibuja cada paso de su protagonista. El ocaso de unos afectos que, tras la cultura expansiva de los 60, volvemos a vivir de puertas adentro. Por eso, no resulta extraño que uno de los personajes admita, en un pasaje de la novela, ese giro hacia el interior que está larvándose silenciosamente como el presente del rock, como si el destino de las estrellas fuese convertirse en un sueño, en un estado de ánimo. La prolongación del efecto por otros medios. Eso es lo que busca el representante de Bucky con las cintas con material inédito (el producto) que aquel grabó en su casa de las montañas; también lo que los diferentes grupúsculos trata de diseminar en la calle con su nueva droga (el producto). Esa clase de conmoción que aún sabe cómo sacar el impulso visceral de nuestro interior.Cada página de La calle Great Jones parece tocada por el lenguaje de la incertidumbre, aquel que transforma la realidad en lo que sea que haya ahí fuera, una sensación mezcla de vacío emocional y frenesí capitalista que DeLillo convierte en el idioma de los personajes y su tiempo. Frases entrecortadas y repetitivas, siempre a la caza de unas sensaciones embalsamadas en el puro tedio, en el fracaso de una juventud que, apenas rascada la treintena, se siente envejecida. De ahí el agotamiento de Bucky, incapaz de continuar una carrera que ha olvidado su razón de ser. De ahí, también, el dolor sordo, inhábil para verbalizar sensaciones, que envuelve cada muerte o desaparición en la novela, que DeLillo describe prácticamente como fugas fantasmales. De ahí, aún más, ese extraño terror que embarga a Bucky cuando contempla el rostro imposible de su vecino, una criatura deforme que encapsula en su monstruosidad todas aquellas reacciones que la sociedad ha reprimido. El anhelo de Bucky de convertirse en un sueño es, pues, el anhelo de una generación por recuperar un territorio que la sociedad no había colonizado ni domesticado. Ese sueño, por qué no decirlo, es nuestra vida interior. Nuestra identidad.La nueva droga, que comparte con la música la misma naturaleza de producto, acaba inyectada en el cuerpo de Bucky. Según advierte uno de los personajes, su efecto ataca directamente a la región cerebral en la que se alojan las habilidades lingüísticas. Reducido a un cuerpo trémulo, vacilante, incapaz de pronunciar la palabra más sencilla, Bucky se abandona a unos ritmos vitales que reflejan aquello que describía su música más alucinada. Como si se alojase en una cámara anecoica, DeLillo expone el repliegue hacia el interior de su protagonista, donde la vida late con una frecuencia distinta. Lo hermoso de La calle Great Jones reside en la habilidad de su autor para pintar ese cuelgue brutal como el último momento de unas emociones que la aplastante lógica cultural del capitalismo avanzado acabará vampirizando. Ese momento, tan caro a la obra de DeLillo, que denota la búsqueda elemental que todos, en algún momento de nuestras vidas, emprendemos cuando nos preguntamos por la belleza de las cosas. Un rayo, un ritmo secreto, en el que por unos segundos la vida continúa palpitando frente a la impostura más atroz. Esa a la que siempre volvemos.Publicado en Détour

Andrew Pagano

The book that best captures the spirit of rock n' roll happens to be about walking away from the lifestyle. Well, I shouldn't say "walking," as protagonist Bucky Wunderlick doesn't do much walking, or anything else. A combination of Dylan and Jagger, Bucky spends the novel sitting around his NY apartment. The events of the plot largely happen around or near him, and his reaction to these phenomena make up the reader's impression of the character. It's beautiful and sad. It's nihilistic and glamorous. It's rock n' roll.

Jordan Munn

I'd read White Noise prior to Great Jones Street, and it was surprising to see a few connections between the two books, especially given the time between the two. I liked the themes of supersaturation of a personality into a society, the ensuing turmoil, questions regarding personal identity versus social identity, and personal privacy. The book moves pretty easily and doesn't bog down at all. The plot gives enough twists, tosses in just enough rock-and-roll mystique, and sparkles with enough humor to make it pretty even. Enjoyable read.

Ann

I LOVE VACATION! I can actually finish a book. Anyway, this one is like Crying of Lot 49 Lite, which is alright for holiday I guess. The drug/rockstar/paranoia plot is a tight draw but he just ends up hitting you over the head with it. Really, by the last chapter I was just looking forward to getting to the not-so-surprising conclusion of rockstar Bucky Wunderlick, but maybe because I've got a book about Spain to read and I'm here, so Great Jones Street, even set in the '70s, is reminding me of what's waiting at home and I'm having so much fun I don't want to come back, not yet anyway. This review ended up being not so much about the book. Oh well: here's my favorite quote to bring it all back: "You have been listening to a panel discussion on a subject yet to be agreed on. Our panelists will now disrobe and paint each other's bodies in colorful native pigments."

Billy

Not only is this book a remnant of the past, it is a remenant that is achingly birthing itself and has been, in the pop culture since 2000, finding new the voice of nihilism and "the void" to the youth culture.Back when Great Jones Street lacked an ATM and Country Blue Grass Blues wasn't a clothing store, there lived a race of children that repopulated a Manhattan that had become, frankly, Escape from New York. But there was some beauty in it.There must be, or why would Jennifer Clement's book "Widow Basquiat" be interesting? Or former members of Television be lecturing at the Smithsonian about the Bowery?And, check it out, Houston? This book is, as usual, enigmas and riddles and puns of DeLillo, a brilliant American Etymologist, who reduces Humanity in Time and Space to a specific Species and Studies them, intently and intensely.Plus if you've ever been around this area bordering the East and West Village in NYC, you can see how it tries to stay the same as it ever was, and how this kind of fame and the inevitability of runningoutofspace...Read this first and then "The Albertine Notes" in Rick Moody's "3 Novellas". And if you ever lived in New York, you'll be nostalgic, and if you lived below 14th street, you'll be back in the club."Fame requires every kind of excess. I mean true fame, a devouring neon, not the somber renown of waning statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the edge of every void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic. Understand the man who must inhabit these extreme regions, monstrous and vulval, damp with memories of violation. Even if half-mad he is absorbed into the public's total madness; even if fully rational, a bureaucrat in hell, a secret genius of survival, he is sure to be destroyed by the public's contempt for survivors. Fame, this special kind, feeds itself on outrage, on what the counselors of lesser men would consider bad publicity-hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs. Perhaps the only natural law attaching to true fame is that the famous man is compelled, eventually, to commit suicide.(Is it clear I was a hero of rock'n'roll?)Toward the end of the final tour it became apparent that our audience wanted more than music, more even than its own reduplicated noise. It's possible the culture had reached its limit, a point of severe tension. There was less sense of simple visceral abandon at our concerts during these last weeks. Few cases of arson and vandalism. Fewer still of rape. No smoke bombs or threats of worse explosives. Our followers, in their isolation, were not concerned with precedent now. They were free of old saints and martyrs, but fearfully so, left with their own unlabeled flesh. Those without tickets didn't storm the barricades, and during a performance the boys and girls directly below us, scratching at the stage, were less murderous in their love of me, as if realizing finally that my death, to be authentic, must be self-willed- a succesful piece of instruction only if it occured by my own hand, preferrably ina foreign city. I began to think their education would not be complete until they outdid me as a teacher, until one day they merely pantomimed the kind of massive response the group was used to getting. As we performed they would dance, collapse, clutch each other, wave their arms, all the while making absolutely no sound. We would stand in the incandescent pit of a huge stadium filled with wildly rippling bodies, all totally silent. Our recent music, deprived of people's screams, was next to meaningless, and there would have been no choice but to stop playing. A profound joke it would have been. A lesson in something or other.In Houston I left the group, saying nothing, and boarded a plane for New York City, that contaminated shrine, place of my birth. I knew Azarian would assume leadership of the band, his body being prettiest. As to the rest, I left them to their respective uproars- news media, promotion people, agents, accountants, various members of the managerial peerage. The public would come closer to understanding my disappearance than anyone else. It was not quite as total as the act they needed and nobody could be sure whether I was gone for good. For my closest followers, it foreshadowed a period of waiting. Either I'd return with a new language for them to speak or they'd seek a divine silence attendant to my own.I took a taxi past the cemetaries toward Manhattan, tides of ash-light breaking across the spires. new York seemed older than the cities of Europe, a sadistic gift of the sixteenth century, ever on the verge of plague. The cab driver was young, however, a freckled kid with a moderate orange Afro. I told him to take the tunnel."Is there a tunnel?" he said. ""I went to the room in Great Jones Street, a small crooked room, cold as a penny, looking out on warehouses, trucks and rubble. There was snow on the windowledge. Some rags and an unloved ruffled shirt of mine had been stuffed into places where the window frame was warped and cold air entered. The refrigerator was unplugged, full of record albums, tapes, and old magazines. I went to the sink and turned on both taps all the way, drawing an intermittent trickle. Least is best. I tried the radio, picking up AM only at the top of the dial, FM not at all.""The industrial loft buildings along Great Jones seemed misproportioned, broad structures half as tall as they should have been, as if deprived of light by the great skyscraper ranges to the north and south.""Transparanoia owns this building," he said." She wanted to be lead singer in a coke-snorting hard-rock band but was prepared to be content beating a tambourine at studio parties. Her mind was exceptional, a fact she preferred to ignore. All she desired was the brute electricity of that sound. To make the men who made it. To keep moving. To forget everything. To be that sound. That was the only tide she heeded. She wanted to exist as music does, nowhere, beyond maps of language. Opal knew almost every important figure in the business, in the culture, in the various subcultures. But she had no talent as a performer, not the slightest, and so drifted along the jet trajectories from band to band, keeping near the fervers of her love, that obliterating sound, until we met eventually in Mexico, in somebody's sister's bed, where the tiny surprise of her name, dropping like a pebble on chrome, brought our incoherent night to proper conclusion, the first of all the rest, transactions in reciprocal tourism.She was beautiful in a neutral way, emitting no light, defining herself in terms of attrition, a skinny thing, near blond, far beyond recall from the hard-edged rhythms of her life, Southwestern woman, hard to remember and forget...There was never a moment between us that did not measure the extent of our true connection. To go harder, take more, die first."

Kirstie

This one really deserves 3 1/2 stars and I'm also grading it somewhat relatively to Don DeLillo's other novels and it does pale a bit in comparison. The main premise of this is that a big rock star lead singer gets bogged down within the realm of the mass consciousness and retreats unexpectantly and suddenly to the realm of the private. However, instead of his mountain hideout, he actually goes to an apt. in NYC. Some of this is my speculation but I think DeLillo was making some pretty accurate statements about one's anonymity in this city and the potential, like a single frail molecule, to dissolve. As expected, he meets some shady characters and gets roped into a really wretched drug ring. Throughout all of the chaos of the novel, the main character stays assuredly calm and doesn't seem to manifest any great fear of death or torture, which is atypical of most protagonists put in this position. The weakness in terms of that is you don't get a sense of him as a main character and he comes off as having a real flat affect. The strengths of this book by far are within the descriptions of NYC and not within the details of his characters. Also, although I thought I would really like this plot as I'm into music, I ended up not caring for it nearly as much as Salman Rushdie's The Ground Beneath Her Feet. If you are looking for a DeLillo novel to start with, I wouldn't recommend this one as much as his classic White Noise, though I really liked Mao II much better.

Aaron

Don Delillo's third novel proves to be a good read, though it's one of his weaker efforts. Delillo's best works are about subtext, not the story he's ostensibly telling. This novel, with its rather straighforward story arc, winds up being a bit of a disappointment to readers overly familiar with his work. This novels tells the tale of Bucky Wanderlick, a musician in the prime of his career. In the middle of a tour, Bucky walks off stage, leaving his fans, bandmates, and record label in the lurch. Holed up in his grubby apartment, Bucky begins to lose a bit of touch with a reality that might have only been real to him in the first place. Eventually, a tape of "lost" work becomes a bargaining chip in a high-stakes exchange for a wonder drug that finds the ultimate high in silence. Since Delillo doesn't seem capable of writing an uninspired line, this novel is an entertaining read. But it's merely mediocre Delillo, better served as a starting point for the unfamiliar to jump from than a tome that fans will come back to again and again.

Michael Vagnetti

Novel? Here, the writing is fried circuitry, too hot to touch, but still engineered, built to do work, a writer's mad science. Paragraphs are the tracks left by throbs and pulses of energy coming 'round again. Share the urgency. Decorum is busted. The writing takes the sharp ends of short sentences and punctures holes in the page. Breathing holes. Shunts to somewhere. This writing has a weird relationship with "the void." It's spectral, it's everywhere but it comes in hints. Shake the book. Look in between the pages. Characters are trying to find a way to be post-famous, private. They were musicians once, they arranged words in a way that doesn't work now. There are passages that make you drop the book: "They pressed against each other, chained to their invisible history, the youngest among them knowing of all needs that one is uppermost, the need to be illiterate in the land of the self-erasing word." (133)

Bruce Watson

Before there was "Spinal Tap," Don DeLillo plumbed the absurdity of rock music celebrity in "Great Jones Street." With shades of his later (and better) "White Noise," he goes straight for the jugular, even adding lyrics, reviews, and celebrity interviews. Thus, although the novel was written in 1972, it has lost none of its punch. DeLillo's disillusioned rock star, Bucky Wunderlick, delivers and overhears monologues of delightful inanity, all the while searching for some meaning in his mindless universe. Dark, cynical, contemporary, and very funny.

JS Found

This slim novel is many things: a meditation on the spiritual bankruptcy of fame and 1970s America; a satire of art and commerce; a satire of corporations and the counter culture; a film noir; an evocation of urban decay; a novel of characters making observations on modern life and waxing philosophical. Once again, DeLillo writes beautiful language. He loves people talking and conversation. His characters make lots of monologues. One of them is a writer who expounds on the brutality of the writers' market. The hero, a very popular lead singer of a avant-garde band, one specializing in noise, decides he can't take it anymore--the fame, the excess, the fans, the lifestyle--and retreats to a run down Manhattan apartment to live quietly and strive for some sort of peace and stillness. The comedic problem is that he is constantly interrupted by other people and nefarious, paranoid forces. This is a Pynchon-esque book in a way. In this and in Americana, DeLillo's first novel, the subject is the malaise of America itself, its confusion and ennui. We still haven't gotten rid of them.

Mike

ok, so this book had me totally confused. the back cover says it's "the best rock n roll novel ever written!" so...i was expecting a novel about a rock star doing rock star things. it was far from this. sure, it included it's fair share of sex, drugs and song lyrics, but what i wasn't expecting was the "conspiracy theory" sci-fi angle it took. Pretty soon you are making connections between the main character and jim morrisson (or even kurt cobain) and plots involving the government controlling the masses by controlling the underground rock n roll community. it took me a while to like this book because i was so deceived in the beginning, but now that i'm reviewing it, i think i love it.

Ilya Kavalerov

I started this book with empathy for the macho-nihilist for the lead character. This made the book open in an unusually way for DeLillo, since it was relatable, and therefore egotistically engaging. Soon, it went back to the DeLillo norm, which is wacky silliness, stimulating only disbelief. Still not as good as Mao II for me. I might even be too optimistic with the 4 start rating, since I am jaded by my special interest in the book's subject matter (lead is a rock god).

Mariano Hortal

Publicado en http://lecturaylocura.com/la-calle-gr...“Las señales del comercio fueron apareciendo lentamente por la calle Great Jones, los envíos y las recepciones, el empaquetado de exportaciones, los curtidos por encargo. Era una calle antigua. De hecho, sus materiales eran su esencia, lo cual explicaba la fealdad de hasta el último centímetro. Pero no era una miseria terminal. Hay calles que en plena decadencia poseen una especie de tono redentor, cierta sugerencia de formas nuevas que están a punto de evolucionar, y Great Jones era una de aquellas calles, siempre suspendida al borde de la revelación. Papel, hilo, cueros, herramientas, hebillas, monturas y artículos de regalo. Alguien abrió la puerta de la empresa de pulidos. Por los adoquines de la calle Lafayette llegaban camiones viejos retumbando. Los camiones se turnaban para subirse a la acera, donde varios de ellos se pasaban el día entero, ligeramente escorados, y a su alrededor caminaban hombres barrigudos con sujetapapeles en las manos, con facturas, con recibos de carga entregada, unos hombres que jamás paraban de tirarse de los pantalones para arriba. Una mujer negra emergió de la mancha de un coche abandonado, recitando entrecortadamente una canción. De la bahía llegaba un viento cortante.”No suelo comenzar con párrafos directamente, no es mi estilo; aunque sí que es cierto que, ahora que ya tengo otras reseñas de diversos autores en el blog ,con su ficha ya no hace falta introducirlos más sino centrarme en los aspectos que interesen de sus obras por estilo, temas tratados y/o sentido final de dicha obra. Tal es el caso con el norteamericano Don Delillo y la obra que traigo a continuación “La calle Great Jones”, tercera obra de su ingente producción literaria y que estaba incluida en mi Proyecto literario que tiene como objetivo terminar toda la obra de mis autores favoritos.La presencia del párrafo inicial, en este caso, cobra una especial relevancia ya que Delillo tiene la especial habilidad de sorprenderme cuando leo cada una de sus frases; tiene la innata capacidad, el genio creativo para utilizar imágenes, metáforas, comparaciones, etc. aplicadas de una forma tal que, desde luego, se alejan de los lugares comunes transitados por la mayoría de escritores del montón. En este texto que he puesto al principio se resume en un momento parte de estas cualidades que hacen único al norteamericano. “La calle Great Jones” es descrita como su fuera un personaje más (“Hay calles que en plena decadencia poseen una especie de tono redentor, cierta sugerencia de formas nuevas que están a punto de evolucionar”); cuánta belleza en cada una de sus palabras y en el conjunto, esa sensación de que, no solo te “choca” la descripción sino que además funciona en el propio texto y en el conjunto de la obra. Está sensación se produce de tal forma cuando leo a este escritor que me da casi lo mismo lo que está contando, lo que sé seguro es que este flujo de sensaciones me lleva y siento un placer hedonista al leerlo.En el caso de Delillo, afortunadamente, no cuenta solo el cómo lo hace, con ese estilo inigualable que le vuelve uno de los cinco o seis mejores escritores actuales; lo que cuenta también interesa sobremanera, y, a pesar de ser una obra primeriza (como era el caso de “Americana” de la que hablé este mismo año ) de fondo hay una serie de reflexiones que irán evolucionando a lo largo de su imprescindible carrera literaria.La historia es sencilla en su premisa, tenemos la retirada momentánea del músico Bucky Wunderlick, músico que es el líder de un grupo en su apogeo en los setenta y que siente que tiene que encontrar otra forma de hacer las cosas, encontrarse a sí mismo y demonstrar que puede seguir haciendo algo por la música y la sociedad; la música, en particular se convierte en verdadera protagonista:“El submundo está todo revuelto por una superdroga. ¿Has oído hablar de ella? Francamente, la noticia me deja frío. La música es el hipnótico supremo. La música consigue sacarme de todo. Me transporta del todo. La música es peligrosa de muchísimas maneras. Es lo más peligroso que hay en el mundo.”Bucky Wunderlick, álter ego de Delillo en esta ocasión, expresa su preocupación por la degeneración de la música, y, en general, del arte; es consciente de la importancia que debería tener y, sobre todo, de lo que debería influenciar a la sociedad : “El artista verdadero hace moverse a la gente. Cuanto la gente lee un libro o mira un cuadro, están ahí sentados o de pie, pero quietos. Eso estaba bien hace mucho tiempo, molaba, era arte. Ahora todo es distinto. Yo hago moverse a la gente. Mi sonido los levanta del puto suelo. Yo lo consigo. Entiéndanme. Yo lo consigo.”En esta búsqueda del verdadero arte unido a su crecimiento personal está la clave de lo que busca el escritor a través de su protagonista, el músico, que se topa de frente con un mundo que , por el contrario, no parece interesado, nada más que marginalmente, en esta verdadera extensión de lo que supone el arte, como leemos en boca del periodista de ABC que habla con Buddy al intentar sacar una entrevista:“-Tengo un espacio en las noticias de media mañana. Por si acaso no me reconoces. Me ocupo de los acontecimientos para jóvenes y de las personalidades del mundo juvenil. Sí, es el mismo lavado de cerebro comercial de toda la vida contra el que todos luchamos, pero, por otro lado, la única forma que tenemos de darles cobertura a ciertas voces es encajarlas en pequeños huecos de la programación que van quedando aquí y allá.”La búsqueda no la realiza el solo, su amante y alguno de sus miembros del grupo, e incluso su manager Globke ayudarán, aunque sea inconscientemente a que esa identidad se acabe de formar y encuentre lo que pueda hacer más feliz a sus seguidores, la forma en que uno de sus miembros se refiere a la música negra nos eleva al paraíso de la palabra de Delillo:“Es todo amor y tristeza, Bucky, y me está destruyendo emocionalmente. Esas emociones toscas y estúpidas resultan increíblemente hermosas. Esas baladas tristonas con pasajes esporádicos en falsete. Y hasta cuando escucho los discos me los imagino moviéndose por el escenario, haciendo esos meneítos y arrastrando los pies y agitando las manos. Con el pelo reluciente. Con los esmóquines a medida. Con las dentaduras y las uñas fantásticas. Y las emociones baratas que transmiten las letras me dejan hecho polvo.”Las emociones primigenias pueden ser la respuesta; el olvido de la complicación, la sencillez por encima de todo, como en palabras de Globke, su mánager, podemos inferir:“Ya estamos todos hartos de phasings instantáneos y de dieciséis pistas y de sintetizadores La gente quiere algo sencillo. Sencillo pero complicado. La clase de material que tú y solamente tú puedes darles. No me interesan los niveles en la música popular ni siquiera sé si este material tiene niveles o no. [...] Ese es el poder de las citas de la montaña, tal como yo las veo desde mi perspectiva personal. No es mi sonido. No es el sonido que yo escucho cuando miro desde la ventana de mi dormitorio en la otra orilla en la otra orilla del río una noche de verano y mi mujer está sentada en la cama leyendo a los maestros orientales y la luz de la luna se refleja en el río y las grandes torres putrefactas de Manhattan se despliegan a lo largo de la noche y yo apago el aire acondicionado y abro una venta e introduzco un cartucho en mi equipo de música.”El mismo Delillo nos anticipa una de sus obsesiones, de hecho, de ello hablé en esta otra reseña a propósito de “Los nombres”:“Ese es el poder de los nombres. La gente actúa en consonancia con sus nombres. Hay un sector diminuto del cerebro humano donde está situado el mecanismo que pone los nombres.”El poder de los nombres, de la palabra, con toda su extensión bíblica, aplicado al arte, se trate del que se trate: música, libros, pintura…. El arte por encima de todo como verdadero catalizador del sentido y de la identidad de nuestras vidas.Los textos provienen de la traducción del inglés de Javier Calvo para esta edición de “La calle Great Jones” de Don Delillo para la editorial Seix Barral

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